The Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) says that it has registered about 54.6 million voters’ biometrics, ensuring their eligibility to vote in next year’s national election. The registration period closed on October 31st.
Numbers from Comelec’s regional offices are still coming in, but at this point the organization says any further adjustments to its tally will be minor. Having reached this many voters is an achievement; Comelec had previously suggested it would likely need to register somewhere between 54 and 56 million eligible voters, and has set about the task zestfully over the last several months as it rolled out increasingly urgent marketing campaigns to encourage citizens to register their biometrics.
Nevertheless, Comelec did see a surge in registrants on the final days of the registration period, and inevitably some thousands were not able to submit their biometric data in time. That will essentially see those individuals unable to vote in the 2016 election, and while there had been a last-minute petition to have the registration deadline extended, it ultimately failed and it isn’t clear if any legal mechanisms will see unregistered voters given another chance. That could lead to some complaints similar to those heard from unregistered voters in the recent Kyrgyzstan election, which also used biometric identification.
Source: CNN Philippines
November 6, 2015 – by Alex Perala